Heart Damage from Blast Wave
The initial blast wave of an explosion can create blunt force trauma to the chest, exerting overpressure on the heart causing injuries including:
- Cardiac contusion: Bruising of tissue;
- Cardiac tamponade: An accumulation of fluid in the pericardium that compresses the heart diminishing its ability to move blood throughout the body;
- Myocardial infarction from air embolism: A heart attack from air bubbles forced into damaged arteries or veins;
- Shock: The sudden drop of blood flow through the body;
- Hematoma: An accumulation of blood in tissue where it does not belong due to damaged veins and arteries.
- Vasovagal bradycardia: A reflex of the involuntary nervous system that causes the heart rate to slow down;
- Vasovagal hypotension: A reflex of the involuntary nervous system that causes a drop in blood pressure.
Injuries From Being Thrown by the Blast and Complications
All of the blunt force injuries caused by the blast wave can also occur if a person is thrown by the force of the blast. Complications include the following: angina (chest pain), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Debris Penetrating the Heart
Secondary injury in a blast occurs when shrapnel or flying debris pierces the skin, creating an open wound. These injuries include lacerations of arteries, veins, heart valves, and muscle that can cause hemorrhaging.
Information on Other Injuries: